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LOS ANGELES - In October, for the first time, I discussed with the news media my long-time relationship with Brad Altman. It was the first time that I had talked to the press about my homosexuality. Our 18-year relationship was something well known to many friends and relatives. We had been open and relaxed about it for many years. Indeed, we have contributed to non-profit institutions and have had our names together up on donor walls, on theater seats and in dinner programs - like so many other couples.

But, that interview with Alex Cho in Frontiers newsmagazine suddenly opened the floodgates to a torrent of media requests, phone calls, and inundated my computer with thousands of e-mails. The overwhelming majority of them have been strongly positive and supportive - but not all. There have been the few but inevitable hate letters, Bible lectures, and vulgar diatribes. So, I am deeply appreciative of all of you who have expressed your kind support and compassion. You truly understand that phrase that is a hallmark of Star Trek, "infinite diversity in infinite combinations."

I respect the many cultures, beliefs, and religious values that make our society rich, engaging, and strong. Diversity working together is one of the strengths of our society. But when one group tries to impose their own particular values on the rest of society by using the law, that is not only disrespectful of others, it goes against the core values of our American democracy. That is what is happening in our America today. The reactionary ideologues of the right are aggressively pushing legislation to strip decent people who happen to love people of their own gender of their fundamental rights of citizenship. I needed, indeed wanted, to speak out on this issue. For my voice to have credibility, I decided to "come out" to the press.

I take strength from your encouragement and support. I thank you and together we will work to make equality and justice for all people a hallmark of our nation.

CLICK HERE to read George's Los Angeles Times article.

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